Lions call for Bell

Warwickshire batsman to get more time in the middle before Tests

Last Updated: 05/05/12 12:23pm

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Ben Stokes: was unable to bowl for Durham during their defeat to Warwickshire

Ben Stokes: was unable to bowl for Durham during their defeat to Warwickshire

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Ian Bell has been called up to the England Lions squad after Ben Stokes was ruled out of the upcoming game against West Indies with a back injury.

All-rounder Stokes suffered discomfort during Durham's drawn LV= County Championship fixture with Middlesex at Lord's earlier in the season and was unable to bowl during the three-day defeat to Warwickshire this week.

Bell scored a century in that match for the Bears, marking a welcome return to form for the right-hander after a tricky start to the domestic season.

He will now get a further chance to spend some time in the middle when he faces tourists, who take England in a three-Test series, in the four-dayer at Wantage Road that gets underway on Thursday, May 10.

"It is unforturnate that Ben's injury has ruled him out of the match against West Indies," said England's national selector Geoff Miller.

"Ian Bell was keen to play another game ahead of the Investec Test series and after performing well for Warwickshire this week this match provides an ideal opportunity for him to continue his preparations as well as helping to ensure England Lions prove challenging opposition for West Indies."

Stokes has played five one-dayers and two Twenty20 Internationals for England, though he was hampered last season by a finger injury that required surgery in the winter.

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